This bracelet represents a fraction of the wide repertoire of silver jewellery made, worn and exchanged by highland communities in northern Thailand. Several types of bracelets with coiled, plaited and twisted forms were worn. The solid band of silver has a coiled silver strand soldered to it. This type of bracelet was mainly worn by the Wa and the Lawa people, an ancient aboriginal people of northern Thailand. Silver was valued more highly than gold by many highland communities. Silver jewellery was a way of investing a family’s wealth to be passed down as heirlooms. It was also believed to have protective properties. Today, where security maybe a problem, silver is kept locked away while aluminium is used as a substitute.

Early 20th century
Northern Thailand
Object size: H0.8 x D6.9 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum